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'Church Of England Should Join Reparation Talks'

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

A representative from the CARICOM Reparations Commission said it is time for the Church of England to join the discussion on reparations.

The group is also calling for a “reparations summit” as phase two of the exit of colonialism for Caribbean countries. This was announced by Sir Hilary Beckles, chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and vice chancellor of UWI yesterday.

Sir Hilary was a panelist at a media engagement held by the CARICOM Reparations Commission and University of the West Indies which was set to update regional and international media on recent developments in the region’s push for reparatory justice for the historical crimes of native genocide and African enslavement in the Caribbean region.

This comes in the wake of recent public statements of “apology” and “regret” by some European states and a number of British commercial enterprises for their role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and in the 200-plus years’ practice of chattel slavery, the group said.

Sir Hilary noted that the Church of England, which owned enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, branded its slaves on their chests.

“It is also the Church of England’s time to join civil society’s conversation about reparations for development,” Sir Hilary continued. “This is how we imagined this conference can be organised – an inter-governmental, civil society summit so that we can move into phase two of our exit from colonialism.”

In 2006, the Church of England voted to apologise to the descendants of victims of the slave trade. An amendment “recognising the damage done” to those enslaved was backed overwhelmingly by the General Synod, BBC reported at the time.

Sir Hilary said yesterday: “Apologies are not enough. Apologies are precursors for reparations. Apologies are signals of an intent to participate in a reparatory process. Apologies are stage one of an effort that says, ‘we acknowledge the harm that we have caused and we are prepared to enter phase two which is a discussion and a negotiation about how to repair that harm and suffering that continues to be the legacy in the Caribbean today.’”

He also said that the colonial “mess” that Caribbean nations have inherited from Britain and Europe remains visible in every aspect of the Caribbean world today.

“Britain and Europe chose to walk away from this mess that they have created,” Sir Hilary continued. “They have left it entirely to the democratic leadership of Caribbean governments and civil society. This was a deliberate and strategic effort, to walk away and refuse to take the responsibility for the legacies and slavery and colonisation. The model which was used by Britain at the moment of the ending of colonisation, was that Britain should exit colonisation and its legacies on the cheap. That they should exit without responsibility; that they should walk away and not look back.

“The theory emerging from the British government and many other governments in Europe, is that those who continue to suffer and experience the harm from colonisation and slavery, should move on and get over it. The Caribbean governments have done well in confronting this legacy of harm and taking responsibility for cleaning up this mess, but the fact of the matter is that the inherited legacy has overwhelmed the best and greatest intentions of our civil societies and our governments.”

He said billions of dollars are spent in this region each year dealing with the consequences and the legacies of an enforced diet of sugar and salt to which the people of this region are addicted. Black people in the Caribbean, he said, are the sickest people in the world, because of the direct consequence of slavery.

Speaking of plans for the summit, he said: “The meeting and summit should be over three days, to discuss how to honour this debt owed to the Caribbean at this moment in history. Day one will be a conversation between the governments. Day two in which there will be a conversation with the private sector. We have heard of late of major private sector that have emerged out of slavery, that emerged out of colonization that were enriched by the crimes against humanity with issues and comments of regret. The major institutions in the city of London, for example, have all made their statements. Time has come now to move to that summit with these major institutions to discuss their contribution to a development plan for the Caribbean.

“Day three will be where civil society institutions and individuals. Most of the universities of Europe participated in the enrichment from slavery. Some of the universities are now ready to discuss this legacy and to allocate resources for research for collective action.”

Comments

sheeprunner12 8 months ago

It is Sir HILARY Beckles ................ Come on!!!!!!! Get it right, please!!!!!! ....... Getting as bad as ZNS community announcements

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truetruebahamian 8 months ago

Reparations to today's sad population from yesterday is just laughably stupid. Those being charged owe not one farthing or anything else to lazy useless beggars who want something for nothing!

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moncurcool 8 months ago

Maybe Hilary Beckles could show he is serious about the exit from colonialism by not using the title given him by the colonialists.

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joeblow 8 months ago

Church of England? Who going to pay reparations for the abuse we have suffered under black leadership in this country since majority rule? We suffering under a negro right now!!

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tom1912 8 months ago

:) :) :) Part One Question [ In parts] Whose ancestors of the head of the Church of England? Whose ancestors of the head of state of some of the CARICOM, nations? Whose ancestors of the person who Knighted Bickes ? Whose ancestors of The Commonweath of The Bahamas? Whose ancestors over the years saw the majority of their subjects suffer starvation and degradation, during the slave trade Who Vastly profited from the slave trade by giving land in the Caribbean that was not theirs to plantation owners and being main share holders in the business never ming passing the various laws that benefited the slave trade.

Answer The UK royal family [ One of the riches families in the world] ,who even now are living high on the hog as a result of the money their family made in the past an even now have the audacity of taking UK citizen's tax monies!

Suggestion- perhaps "Mr" Bickles should have put his hand out for reparations instead of bowing to a member of the U.K. royal family instead of accepting a knighthood! Being a former representative at the UN perhaps he can give some of his income tax free pension towards his cause as the majority of the Nations of the UN have been involved in slavery over serveral thousand years.

Perhaps "Mr" Bickles should take the trouble to read the world history on slavery esoecally the more recent and then he should go cap in hand to:- Those rich tribal families in West Africa who benefited from their ancestors sell their own people [ Some from prison] into slavery never mind sending raiding parties inland to capture more people. To be sold for goods and gold! The ancestors of the rich families in the Middle East for their profits from slavery.

The reparations/ slavery movement will open a can of worms and there could be no end to to who should pay.

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tom1912 8 months ago

Sorry should have read :- Whose ancestors of constitutional Head of State of The Commonweath of The Bahamas?

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joeblow 8 months ago

I am far more afraid of this learned victim mentality and the faux sense of entitlement of this doltish thinking concerning reparations than I am of the contrived effects of a system (slavery) that has been a part of human history since its inception. Too many have already freed themselves from the mental chains of the colonial past for this nonsense to be taken seriously. I would rather we get rid of governor generals!

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tom1912 8 months ago

Below links is rather enlightening look at "Mr" Bickles from some time back in Barbados, even if only half of it is true it would indicate that he is not worth listen too an appears to be self serving!

https://barbadosunderground.net/2013/...">https://barbadosunderground.net/2013/...

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